by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
August 17, 2004
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — At a meeting last month to discuss the "legal backbone" of the U.N. Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), abortion advocates discussed implementation of the conference’s guidelines. To the dismay of pro-life leaders, speakers urged a comprehensive approach that lumped the protection of legalized abortion with measures opposing prostitution and war crimes against women.
The Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the group responsible for monitoring the application of the CEDAW’s principles among and within nations, met with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss how to carry out the legal obligation imposed on national governments by CEDAW.
Most of the speakers addressed the need to protect women in times of war and conflict, and the obligation for nations to consider the role and needs of women in negotiations, resettlement, and peace processes. Issues of prostitution, rape, sex trafficking, and gender equality were addressed during the meeting.
Yet, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, equated "barriers to women’s access to family planning and safe abortion services" as a discriminative practice against women.
Pardiss Kebriaei of CRR told the Committee members that nations "should enact laws allowing abortion without restriction, take other legal and policy measures to ensure the accessibility of high-quality abortion services and the full range of contraceptive methods," according to a U.N. press release.
Kebriaei also included abortion in an appeal for national governments to "repeal all penal laws punishing women on the basis of their reproductive capacity."
If adopted as part of the Committee’s general recommendation, CRR’s inclusion of on-demand abortion rights for adult women as well as minors could be forced upon individual nations.
According to the Friday Fax, Committee members seemed pleased with CRR’s proposal, and Lee Waldorf, a representative of several UN agencies, did not object to CRR’s proposal to include any restriction on abortion as a discriminatory act against women.
CRR’s attempt to include abortion rights at the meeting is part of a strategy detailed in a memo that was leaked to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) in December.
CRR threatened CFAM and LifeNews.com with legal action for making the memo public. The pro-abrotion law firm sent a cease and desist letter but never followed up with legal action.
The memo detailed CRR’s strategy for establishing a worldwide access to abortion on demand. It specifically mentioned the inclusion of abortion rights as "reproductive rights," as Kabriaei did in her address to the Committee.
"There is a stealth quality to the work: we are achieving incremental recognition of values without a huge amount of scrutiny from the opposition," the CRR memo said.
"There is no binding norm that recognizes women’s right to terminate a pregnancy," the memo states. "To argue that such a right exists, we have focused on … rights to life and health."
NGO members at last month’s meeting discussed the inclusion of female children with women in seeking the guarantee of rights under CEDAW. That’s another strategy of CRR. The pro-abortion law firm aims to give minors complete access to abortion without the knowledge of their parents.
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute – https://www.c-fam.org